Ranking Each of the UFC's Current Female Fighters
From former Strikeforce title holders such as Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufman to accomplished ex-Olympians such as Sara McMann, the UFC's female contingent is looking a lot more stacked than critics give them credit for.
With the promotion's second-ever women's fight set for The Ultimate Fighter finale in April, let's see where these female fighters fall on our rankings.
11. Germaine De Randamie
Last Bout: Win over Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
Next Bout: TBA
If you don't know who Germaine de Randamie is, then don't let her 3-2 record fool you. She's fierce and she's dangerous.
While de Randamie may not have that much experience inside the cage, the 28-year-old American Kickboxing Academy product is a Muay Thai machine. "The Iron Lady" owns numerous kickboxing titles and sports a perfect 37-0 record, with 14 KOs, inside the ring.
Expect the Dutch striker to show off her heavy hands when she makes her Octagon debut.
10. Sheila Gaff
Last Bout: Win over Jennifer Maia at Cage Warriors: Fight Night 4
Next Bout: Sara McMann at UFC 159
Take one look at Sheila Gaff's fighting style and you'll understand why people call her "The German Tank."
Gaff isn't afraid to trade punches with her opponents inside the cage and she has a penchant for finishing her foes, with each of her 10 wins coming via knockout or submission.
While the 23-year-old German has been tearing it up on the international scene, her upcoming bout against former Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann at UFC 159 will show just how well she stacks up against one of the promotion's best.
9. Amanda Nunes
Last Bout: Loss to Sarah D'Alelio at Invicta FC 4
Next Bout: Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 5
Another fierce female finisher, Invicta and Strikeforce veteran Amanda Nunes is not a woman to be taken lightly inside the cage.
Owning six KO or TKO victories, the 24-year-old Brazilian's best finish came in her Strikeforce debut in 2011. Taking on a skilled Muay Thai veteran in Julia Budd, the "Lioness of the Ring" made quick work of the Canadian, knocking Budd out just 14 seconds into Round 1.
Despite recent setbacks due to losses to Sarah D'Alelio and Alexis Davis, Nunes remains a force to be reckoned with for any woman in MMA. But before she sets foot inside the Octagon, the Brazilian must first face another dangerous striker in Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 5.
8. Sara McMann
Last Bout: Win over Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 2
Next Bout: Sheila Gaff at UFC 159
One of the most accomplished athletes in the UFC's newly formed women's division, Sara McMann brings an Olympic-level ground game (and a perfect record) to the promotion's storied Octagon, much like champ Ronda Rousey.
McMann, who took home a silver medal in wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, has yet to lose inside the cage, most recently taking home Fight of the Night honors in her unanimous-decision win over Shayna Baszler while headlining Invicta FC 2.
In addition to dominating opponents on the mat, McMann has also shown that she can finish fights, owning a pair of submission victories as well as a first-round TKO win that came just 32 seconds into her 2011 bout against Julie Malenfant.
Set to take on Sheila Gaff at UFC 159, a win over "The German Tank" will solidify her status as a top-tier 135er.
7. Cat Zingano
Last Bout: Win over Raquel Pennington at Invicta FC 3
Next Bout: Miesha Tate at TUF 17 Finale
One of the more interesting new additions to the UFC's new women's division is undefeated Invicta vet Cat Zingano, wife of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mauricio Zingano.
While Cat is pretty slick with her submissions, having tapped out three of her seven opponents, you probably don't want to be on the receiving end of her fists either. "Alpha" owns three wins via KO or TKO, with one of her knockouts coming via a power slam.
It will be interesting to see if she can continue her dominance (and earn a shot at the belt) when Cat takes on former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate at The Ultimate Fighter finale in April.
6. Julie Kedzie
Last Bout: Loss to Miesha Tate at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
Next Bout: TBA
One of the unsung pioneers of women's MMA, Julie Kedzie was kicking butt inside the cage way before many of the other female fighters in the division.
The Greg Jackson product is one of the most experienced women on the roster, having taken on everyone from Gina Carano to Miesha Tate since making her pro debut in 2004.
But at 31 years of age and currently riding a two-fight losing streak, Kedzie needs a big win in her next outing if she wants to crack the top five of the division.
5. Liz Carmouche
Last Bout: Loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 157
Next Bout: TBA
Despite eventually succumbing to the champ's signature submission, Liz Carmouche put on a helluva show during the historic main event of UFC 157.
"Girl-Rilla" almost shocked the world when she took Rousey's back and nearly tapped her out with a neck crank early in the first round. However, the champ was able to escape and would go on to sink in her trademarked armbar.
The surprising performance proved that Carmouche can hang with the elite of the division, so I expect her to put on an even better show in her next outing.
4. Alexis Davis
Last Bout: Win over Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 4
Next Bout: TBA
Another Invicta and Strikeforce veteran joining the UFC's ranks is the highly experienced Alexis Davis.
The Cesar Gracie product is a huge threat on the ground, owning seven submission wins to go with her BJJ black belt. Most recently, Davis took home Fight of the Night honors with her submission victory over Shayna Baszler during their rematch at Invicta FC 4.
With wins over the likes of Amanda Nunes and Julie Kedzie, Davis is an all-around tough fighter and could pose a threat to Rousey's title.
3. Sarah Kaufman
Last Bout: Loss to Ronda Rousey at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
Next Bout: Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5
If it wasn't for a pair of armbar losses, former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman could have very well become the queen of women's MMA.
Kaufman originally lost her Strikeforce crown via armbar to Marloes Coenen in 2010, tapping out in the third round. In her second bid for a title, the tap would come much quicker as champ Ronda Rousey submitted her in just 54 seconds during their title fight last year.
Despite the two blemishes, Kaufman has been virtually unstoppable in her MMA career, owning wins over the likes of Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis.
If she can get past Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5, expect a very high-profile fight for her Octagon debut.
2. Miesha Tate
Last Bout: Win over Julie Kedzie at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
Next Bout: Cat Zingano at TUF 17 Finale
Former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate has scratched her way to becoming one of the most dangerous women in MMA today.
The Team Alpha Male product has solid wrestling and an evolving submission game, recently catching Julie Kedzie with an armbar during their Strikeforce bout last year. In addition to Kedzie, Tate has also tapped out highly touted former world champs such as Marloes Coenen and Zoila Gurgel.
Set to face Cat Zingano in April, "Cupcake" will definitely be motivated for this fight, as a win will set up a rematch with rival Ronda Rousey.
1. Ronda Rousey
Last Bout: Win over Liz Carmouche at UFC 157
Next Bout: TBD
Women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey made history by becoming the first female title holder ever in the UFC, and she once again submitted her opponent with a first-round armbar.
Now riding high as the face of not only women's MMA, but possibly the entire sport as a whole (in the eyes of the mainstream media, at least), Rousey's star will only rise if she can continue to take women's arms inside the Octagon.
Set to face the winner of Tate vs. Zingano, I just don't see either opponent coming away with a win over the champ.